Thirteen Women Scholars Elected Members of American Philosophical Society

The American Philosophical Society was founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin. The society honors distinguished scientists, social scientists, humanities scholars, artists, and societal leaders with membership in the society. More than 240 members of the APS have won Nobel prizes. Members have included George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Frost, Thomas Edison, Sandra Day O’Connor, Charles Darwin, Toni Morrison, and Albert Einstein. This year the society granted membership to 27 individuals. Of these 13 are women and all have ties to the academic world.

Women Scholars Elected Members of American Philosophical Society

(L to R) Frances H. Arnold, Helen M. Blau, Karen S. Cook, and Diane Edmund Griffin

Frances H. Arnold is the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering, and Biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology. She also serves as director of the Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen Bioengineering Center at CalTech. Dr. Arnold is a graduate of Princeton University, where she majored in mechanical and aerospace engineering. She holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Arnold joined the faculty at CalTech in 1987 and was promoted to full professor in 1996.

Helen M. Blau is the Donald E. and Delia B. Baxter Foundation Professor at Stanford University. She is also the director of the Baxter Laboratory for stem cell biology at the university. Dr. Blau joined the faculty at Stanford in 1978 and was promoted to full professor in 1991. Dr. Blau is a graduate of the University of York in England. She earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in biology from Harvard University.

Karen S. Cook is the Ray Lyman Wilbur Professor of Sociology at Stanford University in California. She is also the founding director of the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences and serves as vice provost for faculty development and diversity. Dr. Cook holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, all from Stanford University.

Diane Edmund Griffin is a University Distinguished Service Professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. She is a professor of medicine and neurology and a professor of microbiology and immunology. Dr. Griffin joined the faculty at the university in 1993. Her research focuses on how the human body responds to viral infections. Dr. Griffin is  graduate of Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. She earned a Ph.D. and a medical doctorate at Stanford University.

Women Scholars Elected Members of American Philosophical Society

(L to R) Hopi Hoekstra, Margaret Levi, Sara Miller McCune, and Janet Napolitano

Hopi Hoekstra is the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology, a professor of organismic and evolutionary biology, and a professor of molecular and cellular biology at Harvard University. She also serves as curator of mammals at the university’s Museum of Comparative Zoology. Dr. Hoekstra has been on the Harvard faculty since 2006. Previously, she was on the faculty at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Hoekstra is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, where she majored in integrative biology. She holds a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Washington.

Margaret Levi is a professor of political science and director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. She joined the faculty at Stanford in 2013. Dr. Levi is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, where she majored in political science. She holds a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University.

Sara Miller McCune is co-founder and chair of the board of directors of the academic publisher SAGE Publications. A native of New York City, she is a graduate of Queens College of the City University of New York System. McCune serves on the board of directors for the Center for the Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

Janet Napolitano is president of the University of California System. She is a former governor of Arizona and served as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security in the Obama administration. President Napolitano is a graduate of Santa Clara University in California, where she earned a Truman Scholarship. She earned her law degree at the University of Virginia.

Women Scholars Elected Members of American Philosophical Society

(L to R) Susan Neiman, Sara Seager, Reva Siegel, Shelley Taylor, and Kara Walker

Susan Neiman is the director of the Einstein Forum, a think tank based in Potsdam, Germany. She has held this post since 2000 after teaching at Yale University and the University of Tel Aviv in Israel. A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Neiman earned a Ph.D. in philosophy at Harvard University.

Sara Seager is a professor of planetary science and physics and holds the Class of 1941 Professorship Chair at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Professor Seager was a 2013 winner of a so-called “Genius Award” from the MacArthur Foundation. She has been on the faculty at MIT since 2007. Dr. Seager is a graduate of the University of Toronto. She holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard University.

Reva Siegel is the Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Professor of Law at Yale Law School. She is the author of several books including Before Roe v. Wade: Voices that Shaped the Abortion Debate Before the Supreme Court’s Ruling (Kaplan Publishing, 2010). She earned bachelor’s, master’s, and law degrees from Yale University. Then, Professor Siegel clerked for Judge Spottswood Robinson on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Shelley Taylor is professor emerita of psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. She joined the faculty at UCLA in 1979. Professor Taylor is the author of the textbook Health Psychology (McGraw-Hill, 10th Edition, 2017). A graduate of Connecticut College, Dr. Taylor earned a Ph.D. in social psychology at Yale University.

Kara Walker holds the Tepper Family Chair in Visual Arts at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Earlier, she was a professor of visual arts at Columbia University School of the Arts in New York City. Walker is a native of Stockton, California, and is a graduate of the Atlanta College of Art. She earned a master of fine arts degree at the Rhode Island School of Design.

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